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288   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt   I

the country, preaching the doctrine of brotherhood and preparedness for self-defense. As early as January, 1915, General Wood had asked me to have a meeting to interest some of the men of New York in his plans for the training-camps, which later developed into the "Plattsburg idea." Many of the men who in later days were patriotically ardent in their support of that Plattsburg idea spoke to me with amused indifference at the end of that meeting in January, 1915, and asked me why I had made such a point of their coming to it ! At the same time, Augustus P. Gardner, in the House of Representatives, struggled to arouse the country from its lethargy. Gradually, however, the force of the truth of the doctrine which was being preached by the few percolated through the minds and hearts of many of the American people, and at the beginning of the year 1916 one could feel a certain response to a higher ideal. In May, 1915, after the dastardly sinking of the Lusitania, the country could have been easily led in the path of duty and high ideals. The psychological moment was at hand when over a hundred women and children, non-combatants, and over whom flew the British flag, were hurled into the sea by the dastardly tactics of Germany, but this is a digression. In January, 1916, I was chosen a delegate by the National Security League (an organization started during the first year of the war to uphold the policy of "Preparedness") to its first conference at Washington, and there I was asked to read a letter from my brother, as he could not be present at the conference. He writes me on January 22, 1916: "I was very much surprised and much pleased when I saw in the papers that you had read my letter to the Security League." And again, two days later, came one of his characteristic little notes (no one ever took such pains to do and say loving and lovely things): "Darling Pussie," he says this time: "Judge Nortoni and Bob Bacon have been out here to Sagamore Hill separately, and both feel that your speech was the feature of the Washington meeting. I will tell you all that they say next Sunday when you come to us. I was really

Whisperings of War   289

touched by their enthusiastic admiration of you and the speech. My letter was apparently regarded only as the peg on which the speech was hung. Ever yours, T. R." Needless to say, my speech was only an insignificant addendum to his letter, but he truly believed that his sister's speech was the more important of the two things !

In February he gladly lent me his name for the New York advisory committee of "The Fatherless Children of France," a society started by two magnificent Englishwomen, Miss Schofield and Miss Fell, for which I was privileged to form the New York City committee. "Of course use my name," he says. I do not remember ever asking him for it that he did not lend it to me-that name which counted more than almost any other name of his time.

In March, 1916, he sailed with Mrs. Roosevelt for Trinidad, and during his absence there began again the rumblings of desire on the part of the people of the United States to have him named as presidential candidate on the Republican ticket in the forthcoming convention. A certain faction of the Progressive party still clung to the hope that it could achieve its heart's desire and name him on their ticket, but he had come more and more to the conclusion that the Republican and the Progressive parties must amalgamate in their choice of a nominee, for he firmly believed that Mr. Wilson's policies had been of sinister influence in the country, and he was convinced that nothing was so important as to remove this, from his standpoint, unfortunate influence. More and more he believed that our country should bear a gallant part in the terrible adventure across the sea; more and more he preached the doctrine that we should go to the aid of the war-worn countries who sorely needed America's help.

I cannot refrain from inserting here a letter written by Colonel Roosevelt to his dear friend and classmate Charles G. Washburn, who had just published his able book called "Theodore Roosevelt-The Logic of His Career." That book had special interest because, although Mr. Washburn never wavered


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